Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Weiner: Cooked

It's hardly worth debating whether Rep. Anthony Weiner should resign or should have to resign or should be somehow removed from his job (the latest I heard was to gerrymander his district out of existence). He will resign; the pressure on him will increase steadily, irresistibly, until he gives up--and it won't be long.

Speaking of which, I would say that someone with his name has three choices: 1) don't be a "weiner", 2) admit his "weiner-ness", or 3) try to change what it means to be one. As someone often known as "stoner", I should know: I've tried them all, settled on 3) (hence the blog).

Speaking of "should know", the most bizarre aspect of this has been watching former Gov. Elliot Spitzer commenting to other talking heads (on his CNN show "In the Arena") about how Weiner should handle his sex scandal. I feel like those folks should be saying, "well, Elliot, he should do what you did and hide from public view until he shows up with his wife to announce his resignation". Wonder what Spitz would say to that one?

I have to disagree with those who say that it was his lie--not his sins--that has let the animals permanently out of his barn. For one thing, it was the fact of his denial! One must not deny such things, true or not true. There are two valid responses to an accusation of this sort (and I repeat, true or not): "I don't remember" or "None of your business". I would suggest the following: "I've got two answers, take your pick: 'I don't remember' or 'None of your business'. Or both." The key is to use that answer consistently, not just when there is something embarrassing that you'd rather not admit.

Beyond that, though, it's not true that it was his lie, not his sin, that brought him down. It was the disclosure (and clearly, his poor choice of the target(s) of his indiscretions)--after that, it was just a matter of how, and how long. Americans are prudes, and voyeurs, and journalists are the worst of them, dogs with a bone they just can't ever give up. Andrew Breitbart, the contemptible right-wing blogger who has apparently been exonerated of misdeeds in this case, said on Spitzer's show that he was not part of the Morality Police, and in the next sentence said that public figures should never do anything that could subject themselves to blackmail. The point is, there's always a reason to drag it out until the climax, the public confession, the denouement.

I want three, and only three, things of my elected representatives: 1) to take no compensation for the job beyond the publicly approved amount; 2) to be informed enough to know what they are talking about; and 3) to faithfully represent the views and interests of their constituents (in this case, me). I could not care less about what they are 'tweeting', to whom, whether they are good spouses/parents, whether they show up in a clown costume, whatever. If they broke the law (not venally), well, they may have to go to jail, so that only impacts their ability to represent me.

Finally, my advice to the young: fame is an illusion and a calamity. Avoid it if you can, and if you can't, try to limit its damage.

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